Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama's immediate impact

(x-posted from squarestate)

An interesting thing happened yesterday. There was that whole inauguration, sure, but I witnessed a change closer to home that was pretty interesting.

First some background. My stepson is 7. His dad is obsessed with all things military, being from a military family (but not having enlisted himself. Details.) So Mr. K, as I call him in blogs, had grown up with the schema of good guys vs. bad guys, our side vs. their side, our military vs. theirs. Now combine this with the fact that he's 7; born 2 months after 9/11, alive through almost the entire W presidency. His background has always been this national talk of war, conflict, and terrorism. He has told us many times that he'll be a soldier someday, or develop the biggest and best weapon yet, or something of the sort.

And then Obama became President. Mr. K canvassed with me, went to the DNC with me, and got to see the result of all this election nonsense. His class watched the inauguration and by the time I picked him up from school his plans for the future have changed. Suddenly he wants to learn about conflict resolution; about how to get people to agree without fighting; about how to make a living by traveling the country teaching other people about how to get along.

It's hard to imagine the impact a speech can have on a young brain. We older folks watch and think "that was a good speech." For kids they may be getting introduced to new ideas, new ways of looking at the world, and new priorities. I think for kids Mr. K's age and older this change in leadership and tone is going to have a huge impact in the long run. If Obama can continue to inspire, be honest with us, and display real American values, Mr. K and his generation will grow up with a really great study in contrasts. The better option should be fairly obvious.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Transitioning to manhood

Along with the growing of new hairs and the deepening voice, there is a step that is not often mentioned in the health classes. (I blame abstinence-only education.) This is the moment in a young man's life when he pauses in the aisle of a Home Depot (or similar store) and thinks, "you know, I would like to own that tool. I know what I would do with that tool. I can name times in the past week when I would have found that tool to be a handy thing to own." It's a weird moment. Stephanie thinks it's more a function of being a relatively new homeowner, and she probably has a point. But in any case, I have reached the point in my life where I would actively like to own more tools. Straaange.

In other news, this evening the Bean was talking to Steph about her ankle tattoo. "It's there all the time? Will it be there when you die? When you die you're a zombie. But first you have to eat brains." Thanks Uncle Tim.

***The following paragraph may be considered gross to some. Just a warning.***

Continuing on the subject of death, I have started reading Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers finally. This was recommended to me by both my brother and sister, so I figured it had to be a good read. So far I'm not at all disappointed, however I made the mistake of reading it over breakfast this morning. I was on the chapter about the decomposition of the human body, specifically the part where the author mentions that adolescent maggots chewing on a weeks-old body sound just like fresh Rice Krispies in a bowl of milk. I was eating Cocoa Pebbles, but that was close enough. Note to self- don't read about decomposing bodies while eating. Duh.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Being a superstar

American Idol is back. The season premier was last night, and I can honestly say I have never seen auditions like those on display yesterday. The people on TV were OK, but the real powerhouses of rawk were in my house. See, during commercials the Bean and Mr. K would get up and perform their own auditions, using entirely original compositions. Mr. K had one called "10 Blankets," which faltered only slightly when he needed to pause and think about how many blankets he had referenced so far in the song. The other I remember was about mascara (he rejected my starter lyrics "I've got bat poop on my eyeball/and it makes me pretty"). We'll work on song structure maybe in the future, but he was pouring his heart into it and having a blast. He made it through to Hollywood.

After songs about rainbows and such, the Bean provided the grand finale of the evening. The song was called "Being a Superstar," and the lyrics were something like this:

Being a Superstar is harder than I thought
Harder than I thought
Harder than I thought

Being a Superstar is harder than I thought
Harder than I thought
Harder than I thought

This song was at least 10 minutes long. Every time she hit a "BEING" the air guitar got a big strum for emphasis and her rawk poses came out in force. It was an hour after bedtime, but Steph and I were laughing too hard to stop the madness. She later confessed that the song went on so long because she thought she would have to go to bed when she finished. At least she could admit that.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wedding reception

OK, it's night and my internet is so far functional...lately it's been crashing at night, so we'll see if this works so I can actually post something.

On New Years Eve we had a wedding reception. The plan originally had been to have an outdoor mountain picnic in June of '08, but that didn't work out with Steph's treatments and such, so we moved our target back to October. The impending birth of our new nephew delayed that, since Jeff and Kelly wouldn't have been able to make plans to be here. It turned out that they couldn't come anyway, but in any case the party was pushed back to New Year's Eve, which has become my favorite holiday over the years anyway. The shindig was small, with just family and a few of our very close friends invited. There were still some last-minute no-shows (Wendy had the nerve to have a baby the day before her due date, which we knew might happen, and Kath had a migraine. We love those.) but then my uncle Steve happened to be up skiing in the hills with his family and they were able to come down, so that was a nice surprise.

The party itself took place at our home, with food prepared almost entirely by Steph & me. We had fun putting it together and the whole thing went off nicely. So! (Photo credits and thanks to my sister-in-law Erin, previously mentioned here as the designer of my tattoo)

Since this was a wedding reception, we did have a couple traditional things...I gave Stephanie a wedding ring finally (which had been offered when we got married and declined at the time):

And of course there was cake.The kids were able to pretty much entertain themselves, the adults sometimes wandering in on their action...Tim enjoyed telling them scary stories at their request. I can't wait until he has kids and I can repay his kindness :-)

The evening was spent hanging out with friends and family, eating, talking, the things you do at a reception.

And just 'cuz...some gratuitous pics of the happy couple:

Steph thinks I don't open my eyes when I smile. Where would she get that idea?!
But seriously, am I lucky or what?

I'm glad we got to celebrate our marriage. The meaning of the celebration kind of changes when it's over a year after the fact, but more than anything this was a celebration of where we've been and where we're going. We face the future with our eyes wide open to the curveballs life can throw, but we're happy to have each other, to be a family, and to build our future together.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2009!
There's a lot to be said about the holidays and addition to Christmas, we finally had a wedding reception on New Year's Eve :-D Pics to follow when I get to it...

For now a quote from and old SNL that had Steph and I laughing our asses off the other night...

"Laughter is the best medicine. Unless you have cancer. Then you should get chemo."